Each time I pass a squatter camp in South Africa, I am thankful that I have the financial means to live in the home I do. With each visit to the land of my birth, I notice that these informal settlements have increased in size.
The shanty houses are made from bits and pieces: corrugated sheets of aluminium which seem to be held together with prayer. Roofs are held on with bricks and tyres.
The homes creep up right onto the edge of the highway. Vegetation is sparse and I wonder where the inhabitants get their water to wash their clothes and cook their food.
Dwellings are unpainted; and the surroundings are not those that would epitomise beauty. Grass is rare as the grounds are swept clean; and miscellaneous buckets and pieces of litter colour the ground.
When passing another squatter camp, I was struck by the contrast to the homes found not far away: homes that are well maintained and surrounded by well kept gardens. These shacks are herded together to create space for even more people that have come to the major towns and cities to get work.
But life goes on for the inhabitants of these informal settlements, as testified by the clothing hanging out to dry.
What is your response each time you pass an informal settlement?
© Colline Kook-Chun, 2012
(This post was inspired by the Weekly Photo Challenge posted at The Daily Post at WordPress.com. This week’s prompt is: Thankful)